Fox News host Tucker Carlson hailed Tesla and Space X founder and CEO, Elon Musk, for last week’s purchase of Twitter shares, making him one of the company’s biggest shareholders, suggesting that it could see a ‘restoration of free speech’ on the platform.
Carlson said Musk’s involvement would likely lead to an ‘end of its censorship’ on the social media platform.
Regulatory filings reveal Musk has swiftly amassed a slightly bigger than 9% stake in Twitter with the mercurial billionaire buying shares in almost daily batches starting January 31.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has hailed Tesla and Space X founder and CEO, Elon Musk, for last week’s purchase of Twitter shares
Regulatory filings reveal Musk has swiftly amassed a slightly bigger than 9% stake in Twitter
However, on Sunday Parag announced how Musk had formally declined his board seat.
Either way, Carlson, whose own Twitter account was suspended on the platform on March 25, believes Musk’s involvement will see a ‘return to free speech’.
‘A free Twitter would mean an open debate about ideas on the single most important incubator of opinion in the world. It would mean a return to free and fair elections in the United States, assisting with both sides are allowed to make their case to the public and the public can decide. It’s called democracy,’ Carlson began on Tuesday night on Fox News.
‘Above all, a free Twitter would mean a direct challenge to the people in charge of our country’s institutions many of whom are incompetent. For the first time in years we’ll be able to talk honestly about our leaders. We’ll be able to have the kind of conversations that make democracy possible.’
Carlson also noted how it might also lead to the return of former President Donald Trump to the platform whose own account was suspended following the January 6th Capitol riots in 2021.
At the time, Twitter stated that it had ‘permanently suspended… due to the risk of further incitement of violence,’ after Tump appeared to continue to question the results of the 2020 election and not agree to a peaceful handover of power.
Some lawmakers and celebrities had been calling for years on Twitter to ban Trump.
On Tuesday night, Carlson had some theories of his own.
‘Twitter is no longer a war zone. There’s only one army on the field. Donald Trump has been banned from Twitter despite the fact that he may run in the next presidential election. He’s an active politician with millions of people who would support him. He has been banned. This show has been suspended.
Carlson, whose own Twitter account was suspended on the platform on March 25, believes Musk’s involvement will see a ‘return to free speech’
‘Questioning the prevailing story line is the crime. Do that and you’re gone. Doesn’t matter if you are factually right. We were factually right. Doesn’t matter. Challenge power and you are censored instantly. Now it’s hard to believe that the world’s richest man is the only person who could fix this.
‘Elon Musk seems to be our last hope. Tonight there are signs that Elon Musk plans to do something big with Twitter. Buying 9% of the company is clearly more than investment. He doesn’t need the money.’
Carlson then went on to theorize as to why Musk decided to turn down a board seat.
Twitter quickly gave Musk a seat on the board on the condition that he not own more than 14.9% of the company´s outstanding stock, according to a regulatory filing.
Now that Musk has backed out of the deal, he’s free to build a bigger stake in Twitter, perhaps to try to take over the company or to push for a new slate of directors to change its direction.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said the board would still ‘remain open’ to Musk’s input, while also warning: ‘There will be distractions ahead but our goals and priorities remain unchanged’
‘As a board member Elon Musk would have a fiduciary duty to shareholders in real terms that means he could not reveal Twitter’s algorithms. Those algorithms are used to censor and suppress effective critics of the Biden administration very often without their knowledge. It’s done in secret. Can’t fight back. You don’t know what’s happening. So he could not challenge that if he took a board seat. But this weekend, musk abruptly pulled out of the deal. That means he’s free to buy more shares of Twitter. In fact control it.
‘On Sunday night, Twitter’s pro-censorship CEO Parag Agrawal told Twitter employees to brace for musk’s attempt at a hostile takeover and strongly implied that Twitter will not submit unless forced. ‘There’ll be distractions I have but our goals and priorities remain unchanged.’
‘You have to ask yourself how exactly would Twitter which is apublic company fight off a hostile takeover from the richest guy in the world?’
In a regulatory filing Monday, Musk said he had ‘no preset plans or intentions’ about how to use his influence on Twitter but that he may discuss with its board and management his thoughts on potential business combinations, strategy and other matters. He added that he may express his views ‘through social media or other channels.’
While Musk has been one of Twitter´s loudest critics, the sudden withdrawal from the board, which became official Saturday, could signal that relations between Musk and Twitter will become more acrimonious.
Last Monday, after revealing his stake in Twitter, Musk asked his followers: ‘Do you want an edit button?,’ referencing a feature that many users have requested
On March 25, Musk tweeted a poll: ‘Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?’
Musk´s 81 million Twitter followers make him one of the most popular figures on the platform, rivaling pop stars like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. But his prolific tweeting has sometimes gotten him into trouble with the SEC and others.
Musk and Tesla in 2018 agreed to pay $40 million in civil fines and for Musk to have his tweets approved by a corporate lawyer after he tweeted about having the money to take Tesla private at $420 per share. That didn´t happen but the tweet caused Tesla´s stock price to jump. Musk’s latest trouble with the SEC could be his delay in notifying regulators of his growing stake in Twitter.
Musk, before reversing course on the board seat, sent out a number of tweets over the weekend referencing potential changes at Twitter.
Many of them — such as his proposal for an ad-free Twitter or turning the social media company´s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter — have since been deleted.
Musk then posted a few cryptic tweets late Sunday, including one showing a meme saying, “In all fairness, your honor, my client was in goblin mode,” followed by one saying “Explains everything.” Another, later tweet was of an emoji with a hand over its mouth.
Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has said he doesn´t think Twitter is living up to free speech principles – an opinion shared by followers of Donald Trump and a number of other right-wing political figures who´ve had their accounts suspended for violating Twitter content rules.
Twitter’s CEO and many of its board members had publicly praised Musk last week, suggesting they might take his ideas seriously. But the company had made clear that as a board member he could not make day-to-day decisions or change policies, such as overturning the Trump ban.
Conservative author and national security expert Brigitte Gabriel called for Trump’s return to the platform last Monday
Journalist Glenn Greenwald took to Twitter last Tuesday alleging Democrats were afraid of Trump returning to the platform
Errol Webber, a Republican running for a California House seat, argued last Monday that Twitter should ‘give everyone who has been banned a second chance,’ including Trump
Last Tuesday, tax expert Julio Gonzalez called on Musk to bring back Trump
Republican Study Committee Chair Rep. Jim Banks was among the first elected officials to praise Musk’s purchase last Monday
British broadcaster and former politician Nigel Farage argued Tuesday that Musk joining the board was the ‘first step in the right direction’ for Twitter
Pro-Trump Rep. Lauren Boebert last Monday demanded that Musk use his money invested in the company to push for a reversal of Donald Trump’s permanent suspension
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) questioned last Monday if freedom of speech would return to the platform now that Musk has the largest shareholder
Another Trump ally, former Treasury Department official Monica Crowley, also sounded off